The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. is celebrating its 20th founding anniversary today on the theme “20 Years of AIDFI: From Pioneering to Mainstreaming Technologies and Creating Opportunities for the Poor”, its press release said.
The foundation was established by a group of people who worked with sugar workers on farm lots and in the land reform program in 1991, to focus on support services that were not completely taken care of by the government. Despite the lack of funding and other problems encountered by a newly organized nongovernment organization in Negros, AIDFI started working in far-flung communities, with focus on appropriate technologies and organic agriculture, the press release also said.
The NGO came up with many technologies for basic services. Its flagship, however, is the hydraulic ram pump, a crossbreed between expensive commercial units and low cost appropriate models, that has received several awards in the Philippines and abroad.
It also trained several teams and installed hydraulic ram pumps in various countries. Its biggest accomplishment was the complete technology transfer to Afghanistan, Colombia and Nepal, the BBC World Challenge 2010 award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award last year, the press release said.
AIDFI’s agricultural program, on the other hand, evolved from helping formed associations in new land reform areas, providing them with farm animals and tools, marketing their produce, to social enterprising. It developed the decentralized growing and processing of lemongrass into essential oil, and helped farmers market the produce, the press release also said.
It added that the foundation is thankful for its employees and supporters, and said it hopes that social enterprising will be considered an economic strategy by the government, to make communities again attractive and lively, give the young people options, and for the farmers to be proud of their status.*